Thad Franklin, Cleveland resident and owner of Major League Barber Shop, makes a public comment at the September 18, 2023 Cleveland City Council meeting.
Thad Franklin, Cleveland resident and owner of Major League Barber Shop, makes a public comment. Credit: Cleveland City Council YouTube

Covered by Documenters Hannah Morgan (notes) and Stésià Swain (live-tweet thread)


Public comment returned for the first time since June 5, the beginning of Cleveland City Council’s summer recess. And with the opportunity returned requests for council to ban the sale of flavored tobacco in Cleveland. It has been a consistent theme among commenters since Mayor Justin Bibb’s administration proposed legislation in February.

Barber for the ban

This time, Cleveland resident and barber Thad Franklin said flavored tobacco products are marketed to youth, especially in Black neighborhoods. Franklin started a campaign called Victimizing All People Everywhere (VAPE). In October, some churches and barbershops are hosting No-Menthol Sunday activities, Franklin added.

Franklin, like others, urged council to pass the ban. Council has not moved the proposal forward. Signal’s Nick Castele has the latest.

Sister up

Cleveland could soon become a sister city with towns in three African countries. Council introduced legislation that would allow Mayor Justin Bibb to enter sister-city agreements with Cape Town, South Africa; Kigali, Rwanda; and Tema, Ghana.

Casino money coming?

Council OK’d six uses of its discretionary casino revenue money, which comes from taxes on statewide casino proceeds. Projects set to be supported by the money include: 

  • The Puerto Rican Expo
  • A Ward 4 planning project
  • Calgary Park upgrades

This spring, Signal Cleveland spoke with intended recipients about delays in receiving casino money promised by City Council. One group, Neighborhood Pets, received a check for $25,000 more than two years after it was approved.

Wondering how to sign up to make a public comment? Check out our guide.

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Assignment Editor (he/him)
Doug, a Cleveland Documenter since 2020, has been a copy editor and reporter. His work includes: The Pace of Passage about how quickly Cleveland City Council passes legislation; a look at the challenges of the city’s Exterior Home Paint program; and University Circle Police Department’s complaint-review process. Doug has also written explainers and guides and launched #CLEDocsAnswers, which answers questions Documenters have about local government.

Cleveland Documenters pays and trains people to cover public meetings where government officials discuss important issues and decide how to spend taxpayer money.